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I recently interviewed two leaders who have each influenced hundreds of millions of people. Over the course of two days, I spoke to Evernote CEO and former Google[x] executive Chris O’Neill, and General Stanley McChrystal, founder of McChrystal Group and the commander of U.S. Forces in the Middle East under Bush and Obama. O’Neill and McChrystal are known for getting the best out of people.
The other day, I was struck by a quote I read in a blog post about vulnerability from author and Wharton professor Adam Grant: “Good communicators make themselves look smart. Great communicators make their audiences feel smart.” Grant’s words reminded me of the time I discovered, to my horror, that I write at an 8th grade reading level.
I want to tell you about the last time I cried. A few months ago, inside a little laboratory in Claremont, California, I was hooked up to a machine that measures your brain activity from an armband. The lab belonged to a neuroscientist named Dr. Paul Zak, and the brain machine is called the INBand, a new device that looks like an Apple Watch and goes on that part of your arm w ...
Contently has a book coming out! You can order it here. And if you’d like to subscribe to our free email course on becoming a more powerful storyteller, you can sign up here! A little while ago, my mother sent me an email with the subject line, “The Youngest Storyteller.” There was a picture of a three-year-old kid holding a big microphone on a stage with a big smile on his face.
In 1994, a high-ranking FBI officer was murdered. He leaked information about a government cover-up to a couple FBI agents willing to investigate—and paid the ultimate price. His dying words were, “Trust no one.” The murdered officer, codenamed “Deep Throat,” was actually a fictional character in the Season 1 finale of the television show The X-Files.
In 1956, a dust of mysterious plant spores blew into the town of Santa Mira, California. That’s when things started getting weird. Big green pods started growing around town. Even stranger, local psychiatrists suddenly had an influx of visits from people who lived in the community. Each patient suffered from a condition called Capgras delusion—when you believe someone you know ...
Have you ever gotten ripped off by a cab driver in Cancun? I have. The driver sitting outside the airport claimed to have the best price. I knew neither how far the hotel really was nor how many pesos were in a dollar. He spoked quickly and claimed he couldn’t understand my moderate-level Spanish. (Okay, he may not have been lying about that.
AMC just announced that The Night of the Gun, the memoir of late New York Times writer David Carr, will become a TV mini-series starring Bob Odenkirk. It’s about damn time. Carr was one of his generation’s best journalists and a personal inspiration to me and countless others. The Night of the Gun was perhaps the best thing he wrote.
How important is originality in filmmaking? Instead of heading to the theater for Batman vs. Superman or My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 last week, I took a painstaking look at the data on 600 recent movie sequels to find out. This is apparently how nerds spend their spare time.[footnote]My colleague Greta inadvertently joined the nerd ranks by spending her weekend helping me compile the data.
Who would you rather have as your president: Donald Trump or a burrito from Chipotle? On March 2, after Trump swept the Republican party’s Super Tuesday primary elections, I conducted a statistically significant 1 national poll of 402 registered voters from around the United States asking that very question. The voters were almost split 50/50.
The prevailing media narrative for the last two U.S. presidential elections confirms what our high school math teachers always told us: It pays to be nice to nerds. Technology, from social media to “big data,” has become the new key to campaign success. This narrative even holds true for political pundits—some people now refer to data geeks like FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver a ...
It’s too late to put the toothpaste back in the tube when it comes to race and this year’s Oscars, but data might be able to help us figure out how to address the race issue in Hollywood. Professional racism is not a new thing in the movie business, or the whole of American business for that matter.